Spruce Road fix on the way

Green Township officials discuss the Spruce Road culvert project during Tuesday’s meeting. The project, which has been discussed for some time by township officials, is expected to be completed by the end of July. (Pioneer photo/Brandon Fountain)

GREEN TWP. — After months and months of trying to move the project forward, work to construct a culvert in Green Township is expected to be done by the end of July.

During their monthly meeting Tuesday night, members of the Green Township Board of Trustees received an update on the much-anticipated Spruce Road project.

Originally billed as a project to construct a bridge on the road, the project has been at the forefront of discussion between township officials and the Mecosta County Road Commission, as modifications and amendments to the project over the last six months have led to the decision a culvert would be better suited for the road.

The township originally budgeted $65,000 for the project.

According to Supervisor Jim Chapman, the project originally was bid to include both design and construction, which the township awarded to Youngs Consulting. However, during the design phase, Cliff Youngs, of Youngs Consulting, indicated to township officials a culvert would be better suited, and would not require the additional costs of constructing a bridge. Township officials agreed and decided to move in that direction, though it would need the necessary permits and approval from state agencies.

However, Chapman told township officials on Tuesday, when the road commission began looking at the project, it was decided to re-bid the construction phase of the project following the completion of the design phase by Youngs.

“I talked with (MCRC Manager) Tim Nestle and objected to their decision,” Chapman said. “I spoke with (Road Commissioner) Van Johnson and objected to this.

“In the end, I was informed this was their decision and that it is their road. In the end, it is their road.”

With the road commission’s decision last week, Chapman presented officials with a bill from Youngs Consulting for the design work completed.

Youngs expressed his frustration, as he was prepared to complete the construction portion of the project.

“Now, it’s a totally different project,” he said. “I believe the cost came in well under the total cost and verbiage of the original bid.”

There were questions as to how the township could trust the invoice presented by Youngs.

However, Trustee Nancy Stephan noted she had asked another professional in the field and was assured the amounts were credible for the work stated.

Officials approved to pay the bill to Youngs Consulting in a 6-1 vote, with Trustee Kelly Cushway voting against the measure.

Trustee Jim Peek noted there’s been a lot of back-and-forth with the road commission on the project and very little cooperation.

“I’m just glad the project all of us on this board want to see get done, gets done,” he said.

Chapman added the Spruce Road project is expected to be bid in June and completed by July.

In other action from Tuesday’s meeting, township officials approved a letter to the road commission asking for potholes on 18 Mile Road, from 205th to Northland Drive, be filled.

Township officials also approved the following at the meeting:

• The annual Hope Network Worksite Agreement for work and cleaning to be completed; and

• To spend up to $100 on a 5 foot by 4 foot “VOTE TODAY” vinyl sign from Staples for use in front of the township hall during elections;

The next Green Township Board of Trustees meeting is set for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 12, at the township hall.

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Posted by Brandon Fountain

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